What is Open Licensing?


As new forms of publication and scholarship begin to take hold, the academic world is examining standard forms of licensing and rights management and finding them lacking. While current copyright and intellectual property laws focus on restricting use of materials, authors are beginning to explore new models that center on enabling use while still protecting the academic value of a publication. Some rights are still reserved, but some are proactively licensed at publication time to encourage re-use. These approaches make it clear which rights are licensed for various uses, removing the barrier of copyright and smoothing the way for others to access and use one’s work. One such approach is that taken by Creative Commons, an organization that supplies easy-to-understand, “some rights reserved” licenses for creative work. Authors simply review the list of rights they can grant or restrict, make their choice, and receive a link to a written license that spells out how their work may be used. The licenses work within current copyright laws but clearly state how a work may be used. Copyleft is another alternative license; often used in open source software development and describes how a work can be used and also governs how derivative works are to be licensed as well. Models like these are beginning to gain acceptance among artists, photographers, and musicians; scholarly papers and reports are increasingly released under alternative licenses. Some organizations, such as the New Media Consortium, have made it a policy to release all their work under licenses that facilitate sharing and reuse.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • This is an area I am very interested in. Extension is about teaching, sharing and accessibility. Being able to share accurate, high quality images in our reports or presentations or on social media is essential. I am a strong advocate that states and county or regional Extension offices need to support each other and share other Extension content before going to Creative Commons and selecting an image created by a member of the public.Is the image labeled correctly? Was it Photoshopped? Extension should seek to develop its own Creative Commons database of video clips, b-roll and images that are free for other Extension staff to use, with attribution of course. This could be achieved by a national Extension Fickr account, that we could access directly, but could also be labeled so that a member of the public would have access to trusted Extension images that they can use in blogs, social media, etc. and serve a secondary marketing effect for Extension.- MicheleWalfred MicheleWalfred Jun 2, 2016
  • SUNY is making a concerted effort to expand its offerings of open educational resources and open textbooks. This was evident at the recent SUNY CIT conference. See SUNY Potsdam President, Kristen Esterberg and Keynote Speaker, David Wiley, “High Impact OER Adoption –https://livestream.com/hvccstreaming/2016CIT - Stan Stan Jun 4, 2016
  • If Extension wishes to see its resources used in curricula across the nation, then making content available with Creative Commons licensing will help facilitate this. - Stan Stan Jun 4, 2016
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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